Clarkston A Cappella singers rehearse a number. Photo by Jessica Steeley
BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer
Detroit Voice, a subset of Clarkston A Cappella, was selected to be on the new 2017 Best of High School A Cappella compilation.
This is the third time Detroit Voice has been featured on the compilation, Clarkston A Cappella Program Director Brian Haverkate said, with the last two times being 2012-2013 and 2014-2015.
Haverkate added the compilation is available on iTunes in January, with Detroit Voice’s rendition of “All Night Long” by Lionel Ritchie as the opening track.
The compilation songs included on the CD are reviewed and chosen by such people as the music director for Pitch Perfect and the supervisor of Varsity Vocals, a student a cappella competition.
“Every group that’s interested submits all their songs and they go through and they listen to hundreds, thousands of songs and end up choosing whatever they like the best,” Haverkate said. “They do tend to pick a variety of styles, popular music from the seventies on. Their goal is to kind of reach as many people and kind of hook them in and get interested in it.”
Clarkston A Cappella is open to Clarkston students grades six through 12, who audition and are placed into one of three groups: Encore, Synergy, or Detroit Voice. Haverkate said Detroit Voice is seen as the most experienced group and is open only to ninth through 12th graders.
“Detroit Voice, we kind of created it around the theme of just doing either Detroit artists, Motown artists, or artists from the state of Michigan, so we don’t do anything outside of that,” Haverkate said. “It’s given us a way to focus our musical energy into our performance. We’ll do stuff by like Eminem, Kid Rock, but then we’ll also do stuff by the Temptations, and Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder.”
Ben Neideck, a 10th grader in Detroit Voice, has been with Clarkston A Cappella since seventh grade and said Detroit Voice has helped challenge him musically and taught him to sight read music better.
Neideck’s dad, who was in a band in the sixties and seventies, helped ignite his love for music.
“I’ve been into music since I was 2 years old, so I’ve always been listening to music, singing with my dad,” Neideck said. “I got my singing from him and he would always play songs for me.”
Outside of Detroit Voice, Neideck also takes piano lessons and is in this year’s high school musical, “Les Miserables.” He plans to get voice lessons and eventually study music in college.
Eleventh grader Reilly Kerrigan has wanted to be a part of Detroit Voice ever since she first heard the group. She auditioned for Synergy to prepare. Now, as a member of Detroit Voice, she says she loves working with a judgment-free group of people who share the same interests and goals.
Kerrigan also plans to continue music in college through musical theater and a cappella.
“The thing I love most about the group is the amazing people who are involved. We are all a family who I can trust with anything,” Kerrigan said. “We always laugh and smile about stuff we do and have fun making our music worthwhile.”